tv BBC World News America PBS October 12, 2011 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT
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>> and now, "bbc world news america." >> reporting from washington, this is "bbc world news america ." the last rates of sirte in the colonel gaddafi's home town. revolutionary forces going head- to-head with fighters still loyal to the old regime. trafficking in children. special report on the very young who is being shipped from the heat -- uganda to the uk for use in witchcraft. and taking a shortcut -- one marathon runner from the 26 miles a bit too much, but taking the bus certainly helped.
welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and also or around the globe. there is heavy fighting in libya denied as troops of the national libyan council push hard into the city intosirte. fighters in the gaddafi stronghold have put up surprisingly fierce resistance, but now, according to bbc reporters who are with forces of the government, there are only a few streets still left in the hands of gaddafi loyalists. >> a war that has lasted nine months across libya has come down to a few streets and suburbs in colonel gaddafi cozy home town. the fighting on the streets of sirte is ferocious and intense. the town is being pummeled and
pounded into submission. a place gaddafi favored above all others in libya flattened block by block. after a battle that lasted more than a week, this day began with soldiers from the new government loading their ammunition belts for what they hope will be the last day of fighting. the transitional council declared more than once that the city is about to fall, but now, they are convinced it will soon be over. as the front line was slowly pushed back under intense fire, we scurried through streets that only hours before were captured from gaddafi's retreating army. we have now moved down as close as we can to the center of sirte. the town is being obliterated. the front line just a few yards in front of me is being smashed by rocket fire and artillery fire. this is the only way supporters
of the new government will remove gaddafi loyalists from the center of the city itself. this was a wounded gaddafi soldier being treated by his enemies. some wanted to kill him. most thought otherwise. though there have been allegations of abuses by both sides. as the city falls apart, hundreds of civilians take the chance to flee. some are gaddafi fighters trying to hide in the convoy. most are frightened women and children traumatized by days of intense shelling. in perhaps one or two days' time, the city will be under the total control of the transitional government, but what will be left of it? >> a short time ago, i spoke with maurer, who is still with the troops. >> do you think they have been surprised by the level of resistance they have met?
>> undoubtedly. the ntc has on many occasions said that the end is nigh, that it is only a matter of time before resistance is ended, but i think the fact that these are very much pro-gaddafi fighters, that they have nowhere to go -- they have their backs to the sea, and they have rejected any attempt to get them to surrender means that they have been fighting intensely. the last couple of days in particular before today, before they started to make these big events, the last couple of days were very difficult indeed, and i think some of the fighters from the new transition government were starting to feel depressed because they were losing ground and losing men, but it has been a very big bombardment. sadly for some of those fighters and possibly the residents as well, it is having a devastating effect on the city
itself. >> what do you think happens after the push for sirte is finally over? what will they do with all these gaddafi loyalists? >> it depends. civilians will be allowed to go, and from our experience in tripoli, gaddafi loyalists where they're able to protest in favor of the old regime after the fall of the city. so the portends on one hand, the new democratic government or new democratic administration says it will allow those people who supported gaddafi to remain. of course, the pro two very difs today. one gaddafi fighter badly wounded being treated and cared for by members -- forces from the new government. on the other hand, earlier today, we saw what could only be described as a mercenary, a captured gaddafi fighter, and he had been beaten incredibly badly by the forces from the new
government. all of us who were there feared very much for his safety. there have undoubtedly been abuses by the new regime, but equally, there have been acts of kindness as well. >> thank you so much for joining us. the man accused of trying to blow up an airplane over detroit on christmas day 2009 has dramatically changed all his pleas to guilty. the 24-year-old from nigeria faces charges of trying to kill the 300 passengers and crew on board the flight. this report from our washington correspondent. >> slowly, hesitantly, the young nigerian man declared war on christians and jews. he would become known to the world as the underpants bomber. this photograph shows the powdery explosives that were packed around his groin inside the now scorched clothing.
in a detroit couroom, the defendant changed his plea to guilty, describing the underwear bomb as a blessed weapon to save the lives of innocent muslims. he told the judge, "i intended to wreck a u.s. aircraft for the u.s. wreckage of muslim lands and property." it was christmas day two years ago when he boarded the flight from amsterdam to detroit. around an hour before landing, he plunged a syringe into the explosives, causing smoke and flames, but the bomber and the fire were smothered by other passengers, some of whom were in court. >> i was saddened by the whole thing, to see him coming in and pretty much act like he did not care what happened. >> i am thankful that i am of light beer in my family is thankful that we are alive. we really should be dead by now. we are lucky that nothing worse happened. >> the case shook america and since that day, security at u.s.
airports has become even tighter. more and more passengers are being subjected to a full body scans, which can detect explosives hidden beneath close. but spotting and correcting intelligence failings is another matter. the defendants' own father had warned u.s. officials that his son had traveled to yemen where the young man with a train at al qaeda camp. he told the court his inspiration was al-awlaki, the militant cleric killed by a drone last week. americans failed to kill the dots appear their own comfort is that the bomber failed as well. >> the u.s. secretary of state says it is a dangerous escalation. a senior u.s. senator says it may be an act of war. the alleged iranian plot to kill the saudi arabian ambassador to washington has american officials fuming today. no clinton also warned the government in tehran would be held accountable.
the u.s.'s charge to iranians and imposed sanctions against senior members of iran's revolutionary guard and an iranian airliner appeared for or on the latest developments, i am joined by former state spokesman peter crowley. as washington comes to the conclusion that the ledger blogger is the highest echelons? >> i do not think that is really known. that is the central question. whether this was a couple of guys acting at mid levels or something higher, that tells you whether this is really the kind of escalation or more of what we have seen. >> we are hearing there was something like $1.5 million involved. that had to come from somewhere, right? >> it does not grow on trees. on one hand, resources were made
available. on the other hand, this was not be a team of iran. this was a strategic decision to fight back at saudi arabia, to push back on some of the momentum saudi arabia gain, maybe the momentum iran feels it has lost, you would put the eight team on this, and this was not the eighth team -- this was not the a team. >> do you think what iran -- do you think iran would risk what the secretary of state is calling a dangerous escalation? >> it provides a tremendous opportunity for the united states, saudi arabia, and others to apply increase pressure on iran and to maybe get some countries that have been on the fence to do more, to tighten up the sanctions that do exist. >> effectively, they ask other states to join. do you think they will? >> absolutely. but on one hand, this has been one of the losers in the era of
spring, and it is buying for supremacy in the region, so the shot across the back to saudi arabia makes sense, and if they are able to embarrass the united states in the process, it is a win-win, but it has not worked out that way. given what they did with syria last week blocking that, maybe, maybe not, but it is a tougher argument. >> thanks very much for coming. have a good day. in other news from around the world, the burmese pro-democracy leader has welcomed the release of more than 150 political prisoners who were freed as part of a general amnesty. monks, dissidents, journalists, and even a comedian were among the first to get out, but amnesty international says the government must free more political detainees if it is seriously committed to reform. the president of the european commission has called for a comprehensive package of measures to deal with the eurozone debt crisis and to
recapitalize european banks. said that banks in europe should increase their capital reserves and those which do not meet the necessary requirements should be prevented from paying dividends and bonuses. the problems besetting users of black very smartphones has stretched into a third day and spread to the u.s. and canada. there is a huge backlog of e- mails and messages piling up worldwide. manufacturers research in motion says it has now fixed the problem, the collapse of a leak in its -- link in its european switching has. last night, we expose the ritual murder of children in uganda. tonight in the second part of our investigation, we revealed the abuse of children by some witch doctors in great britain. data from u.k. trafficking agencies obtained by the bbc shows that 400 african children have been traffic to the u.k. and rescued by police agencies. some have become victims to sinister rituals performed by
which doctors. chris rogers begins his journey in uganda, which has become one of the main source countries for traffickers. some viewers may find the content of this report disturbing. >> across uganda, 9000 children have gone missing over the last four years. most disappeared from villages like this one on the outskirts of the capital. according to a recent u.s. government report on global trafficking, children are being smuggled to europe to be exploited. many are subjected to witchcraft rituals. so how easy is it to buy a child in uganda? posing as buyers wanting to traffic children to the u.k., we went looking for one of uganda's most prolific child of doctors and traffickers. within days, we made contact with him. >> [inaudible] >> 100 children? ok.
>> [inaudible] i have a whole network in uganda. >> i understand. ok, we will talk to more than. ok. thank you. bye-bye. that is and then the claims to head a network of traffickers across the whole of uganda who kidnapped children to provide them for use in witchcraft and other forms of exploitation. he insisted we meet at an isolated hotel. he claims to have been selling children for use by which doctors in uganda and abroad for over 20 years. he boasts how it is done. >> it all depends how you want it done. i can take you to a family home. i would have no problem to get a child officially. the there is a world of secretly of ducting children. >> in another seger meeting, we
asked if the police would cause problems. >> i have to find a house where we can take the supply, the children, to a remote area so the police cannot find them. >> he demanded a fee of 10,000 pounds per child. at this point, we withdrew from negotiations. britain has emerged as one of the main destination countries for children traffic from africa. it is believed hundreds passed through british airports every year. >> our experience shows that it can be anybody. they can be people with power. they can be people with money. they can be people from the village, but they can also be people involved in witchcraft, which doctors and other types of people in the community using those practices. >> in the last three years, police agencies have a rest -- rescued maybe 400 african children. some of the victims agreed to share their experiences with us. still fearing their abusers, we have asked young actors to say
their words. >> they told me i was evil. i believe it and that this was my punishment. >> the traffickers or witch doctors take your hair and cut your arms, legs, head, and genitals and collect the blood. they say if you speak out, they can kill you. >> which doctors or traditional spiritual healers are growing in popularity in britain. hundreds of which doctors advertise what they say our life changing rituals for around 350 pounlv, voining prayer and herbs. as we discovered, there are some who engage in more sinister practices. posing as a couple with financial problems, we visited 10 which doctors. all of them offered herbal potions, but two also offered a ritual involving human blood, which is illegal.
>> in this country, i have many customers here. >> he had a bottle of blood already prepared. he instructed to release the smell of blood into our home. that just a little, you know? >> for and the tests revealed the bottle did contain human blood, although there was no evidence it was extracted from anyone against their will. the authorities not only face a battle with traffickers who adopt children to meet the demand from which doctors who abuse them, but also a growing belief in the power of human blood taken from innocent victims for profit. >> the global spread of a very disturbing practice there. you are watching "bbc world news america." still the, tonight's program, the man who would be president in the race to lead the
republican ticket -- could mitt romney's mormon faith be a factor? australia's prime minister has won a major political victory. the lower house of parliament has narrowly passed a bill for controversial carbon tax payer the legislation would force about 500 of the biggest polluters to pay for each ton of carbon dioxide date in it. the plan is expected to be approved by the upper house. she has staked the future of her government on the levee. duncan kennedy explains. >> the question is therefore resolved in the affirmative. the bills as amended have been agreed to. >> just two votes, but only one victory. the carbon tax supporters cheered like christmas had come early. opponents look like the festive season had already passed. for the prime minister, the gavel in the face of hostile
political business and public opposition had paid off. >> today, this house of representatives moved from words to deeds. it has moved from what is sometimes been a rancorous debate to action. this house of representatives today, this parliament today has seen the future. >> australia is a world-class polluter, given the size of its population. opponents to the tax say it still only in its 1.5% of all global emissions. so why, they ask, tax companies if it will not affect climate change but will affect jobs? the leader of the opposition has never been more blunt. >> we do not want the carbon tax -- >> upon its net next month's senate vote is a formality and that the carbon tax will become a reality in july. the debate has generated its own bitterly divisive emissions. australia will now join the
growing number of countries putting climate change as the heart of government policy. >> last night, it was all about the economy at the republican presidential candidates squaring off in new hampshire. front runner mitt romney charged that president obama was well- meaning but over his head when it comes to the country's finances. yet, recently, it is religion, not economics, that caused a fuss on the campaign trail. last week, an evangelical pastor claimed romney is not a christian and belonged to a call because he is mormon. the charge prompted widespread outrage, but it does suggest romney's religion will be a factor in the election. >> a warm night in utah as two local teams are about to square
off, but this is not just any local rivalry. this is what some call, some only slightly in cheek, -- with, only slightly in cheek, the holy war. in blue, brigham young university, established by and for mormons. brigham young's fans are out in force, and they say that while religion is becoming more accepted, there's still a gap between mormons and mainstream america. >> i think the mormon religion is getting more well known. people know more about the church. as far as being more mainstream, i think people still consider as different and not christian, but i think they appreciate our values and what we do for the country. >> if romney becomes a candidate, even the president, does that change things forever? >> i do not know if it will change things forever. people will still have their perceptions. they may just think romney is weird if they think we are weird.
>> weird is how to many republicans saw mitt romney's religion when he ran for the republican nomination four years ago. he tried to tackle the problem head-on. >> i believe that jesus christ is the son of god and the savior of mankind. that the four years on, his faith is still alive. a close family friend speaks. >> as long as people recognize him as the turnaround by for the olympics and governor and businesses, more men is every bit as part of him, and i do not think he will ever shy away from that. >> would it be easier if he was not a mormon? >> at this point, probably yes. on the other hand, who knows where he would be without his mormon faith? >> it will be in south carolina that mitt romney's faith will face its first electoral test. >> south carolina is particularly dangerous territory. i was here in 2008 that he was
unceremoniously crushed. it is home to some of the darkest of in republican campaigning and home to an evangelical christian community that has little time for mormons. >> this denomination is the strongest in the state, and most baptists believe in bibelot, and that the bible is true as it is written, as we read it, and along come the mormons with another document, which is also crucial to their faith. >> are there some who see more monism as heresy? >> share. or call it is the word that has been used more often. -- sure, or cult is the war that has been used more often. >> mormons have been outside the american mainstream as they ascended to the peaks of american prosperity. mitt romney seeks the summit.
his fate may be his undoing, but if he succeeds, a great american taboo will be broken. >> the ever tricky issue of religion in american politics. anyone who has ever tried to run a marathon will know that the last few miles are always the hardest. many have been tempted to quit, but for one runner in the northern england, the solution now has him handing back his mettle. more on the short cut grabbing global attention. then he'd just finished third in the marathon. no wonder he was being interviewed. >> it is a marathon to challenge runners. >> most definitely. >> but no wonder the man just behind him was giving him a quizzical glance. you see, he thought he had come third and could not remember being overtaken. and a policeman by trade, he
raised the alarm. witnesses claim to have seen sloan on a bus, moving considerably faster than running speed. >> he is the only runner in the whole of the race actually ran the second half of the race quicker than the first half. we have other checks in place as well, which would suggest that either turned into an olympic athlete over the last 8 miles with no evidence of that beforehand or used some other method to get to the finish line. >> eventually, he owned up. exhausted it 20 miles, he caught the bus and completed the race on foot. the does normally raise by traditional means, victorious in the 10-kilometer event just the previous day. his next challenge -- to win back his reputation. >> a k, that brings us close to the end of today's forecast.
thanks so much for watching. see you back here tomorrow. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. union bank. and shell. >> this is kim - about to feel one of his favorite sensations. at shell, we're developing more efficient fuels in countries like malaysia that can help us get the most from our energy resources. let's use energy more efficiently. let's go.